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Itinerary for first trip to Ireland, without a car

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Itinerary for first trip to Ireland, without a car

Old Mar 25th, 2018, 12:27 PM
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Itinerary for first trip to Ireland, without a car

I'm planning a two-week trip to Ireland this summer, coming from the U.S. East Coast. It'll be my first trip there, although I've been to other parts of Europe and done a fair amount of traveling on my own. I'm in my 50s. I do want to see some of Ireland's natural beauty but I'm more interested in history and culture. I'd rather spend a day walking around a city or town than hiking. I don't want to rent a car, so I'm looking at what I can do by train/bus, seeing some of the scenery while also getting a taste of its cities and smaller towns.

Does this sound reasonable? Am I leaving out something major? I could extend the trip by a day. I want to avoid having to pack up and move to a new hotel every day, which is why I was thinking about using Dublin, Cork and Galway as a base for day trips. Kinsale and Belfast I figure I can do on my own. For the Cliffs of Moher, Ring of Kerry and Connemara, I'll look into organized day trips by coach.

As an alternative, I was considering a few days in Dublin, then a Railtours Ireland trip to Ring of Kerry, Cliffs of Moher and Connemara, finishing up in Galway.

Sunday: Arrive Dublin in the morning

Monday: Dublin

Tuesday: Dublin

Wednesday: Day trip to Belfast

Thursday: Another day trip from Dublin?

Friday: Train to Cork

Saturday: Day trip to Kinsale from Cork

Sunday: Coach tour to Ring of Kerry from Cork

Monday: Train to Galway

Tuesday: Coach tour to Cliffs of Moher from Galway

Wednesday: Coach tour to Connemara from Galway (Maybe Clifden)

Thursday: Fly home from Shannon
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Old Mar 25th, 2018, 01:26 PM
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Too fast-paced for many but seems fine to me if you want to be on move most days (as I tend to do myself) - check Irish Rail's official site for fares and ticketing your own with possible discounts and deals:

Visiting Ireland?

And for loads on Irish trains check: www.seat61.com; BETS-European Rail Experts and www.ricksteves.com.
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Old Mar 26th, 2018, 12:45 PM
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Topping for others to see and opine - Irish experts?
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Old Mar 26th, 2018, 06:31 PM
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There is a person named USAL on trip advisor that is the public transportation guru. You are picking locations that are very doable though. I think you could take train or bus to Belfast for the day but if you wanted a tour of the coast Irish Rovers are very good. I could easily do a day tour of Belfast. A black cab tour is very good, visit St George's market, city hall or Titanic museum. In Galway there is Lally tours and Galway tours but also a hop on hop off bus now for Connemara. We only do public transportation in Ireland. We love having a beer or two and touring distilleries so no driving. Five of us did it last year, we hired a cab company in Westport for a day tour. It was very reasonable. We picked out where we wanted to go and they did it. We base in the city and do day tours or take the train up and down the coast. My next trip is going to Cork and Midleton. Easy for day trips. I love Dublin and Belfast. Good luck.
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Old Mar 27th, 2018, 04:02 PM
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Thanks for the tips.

The black cab tour and the Titanic Museum are definitely on my list for Belfast.

It is a pretty full itinerary but this will probably be my only trip to Ireland!
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Old Mar 28th, 2018, 06:36 AM
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https://www.google.com/search?q=belf...w=1745&bih=863

I enjoyed in Belfast walking into Loyalist and Catholic neighborhoods and seeing the colorful wall murals.
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Old Mar 28th, 2018, 08:16 AM
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You could also look at Rabbies.....small tour groups (less than 16 people) and excellent guides.

https://www.rabbies.com/en/ireland-tours
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Old Mar 28th, 2018, 09:37 AM
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We did something similar last year, but traveling as a couple. 4 nights in Dublin (included a day trip to Belfast by train); train from Dublin to Killarney (1 change at Limerick Junction); stayed at the Killarney Park Hotel (4 nights) which is walkable from the train station and adjacent to the national park. Two day trips from Killarney using a private service called Killarney Tours and Taxi (reserved in advance); the day trips were the RIng of Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula. (If you can only do one, Dingle is better IMO, but both are very worthwhile.) From Killarney, we had a two day private tour booked with Elegant Irish which stopped at places of our choosing, including, Adare, Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, the Cliffs of Moher (Day 1) and the Burren, Connemara, Cong, Kylemore Abbey (Day 2). At the end of the second day, the driver dropped us at our hotel, Park Hotel, in Galway, where we spent 3 nights. Train back to Dublin from which we flew home. If I were traveling on my own, I would have considered the small group tours for part of the trip. Private tours are probably too pricey when you travel solo, and I would probably enjoy being on a small bus tour for part of the trip if traveling solo. Of course, we missed a lot: all of the Southeast and the coastal towns near Dublin, and all of Northern Ireland except for Belfast, but it was a nice sampling over two weeks and we did not rush at all.
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Old Mar 30th, 2018, 05:55 AM
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I second the Rabbies tours from Dublin although I wouldn't do the west coast 1 day tour(too long). Stick with the Glendalough tour from Dublin. We also did a Paddywagon tour to Belfast/Giants Causeway in 2014. Excellent tour but also a long day of touring. You can see most of the touristy things to do in Dublin in 1 1/2 days so I would probably cut out one of your days there. You can see everything of value in Dublin Sunday and Monday. I found the weekend to be crazy in Dublin with everyone out celebrating the end of the week. I like the fact that you are arriving on a Sunday as the Pubs (and tourist attractions) will be less crowded.
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Old Mar 31st, 2018, 05:14 PM
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Thanks. I have a long list of things I want to do in Dublin. Besides the Guinness tour and the Book of Kells and Trinity College, it seems like there are quite a few museums I'd be interested in: Writers Museum, James Joyce Center, the Little Museum, Irish Immigration Museum, GPO Building, Kilmainham Gaol. I'm also planning to go to a couple of theaters, including the Abbey, and hopefully take a tour. Plus, I just enjoy walking around cities. So I think I can easily fill three days!

I will look into the Rabbies tour. I know people who've done the Paddywagon tours and enjoyed them.

I'm planning to take organized tours for Glendalough, Ring of Kerry, Cliffs of Moher and Connemara. But I also want to do some wandering around on my own. I'm thinking about a day trip to either Killarney or Kinsale from Cork and either Clifden or Westport from Galway. Does anyone have any thoughts on which is better?
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Old Jan 26th, 2020, 08:08 AM
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Ireland trip

What did you end up with as a final itinerary?
Did you find it doable?
We are planning a similar trip without a car.
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Old Jan 27th, 2020, 06:19 AM
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Hi,

I did a trip report. It worked out fine. I took several bus tours to places where you really need car, and I took the train from Dublin to Belfast for a day trip.

Here's my trip report for more details:

Ireland trip: From Dublin to Galway, Part One

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Old Jan 28th, 2020, 07:09 AM
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I think the itinerary looks a bit action packed alright. Worth looking into the likes of https://www.discoveringireland.com/e...tours-ireland/ or https://www.rabbies.com/en/ireland-tours even if you dont want to go on one of their tours you could look at how much space they have between some of their tours and do your own version of it! They can be useful as a rough guide. Enjoy your trip!
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